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Police: Suspect in Deadly Louisville Shooting Was Protester with Multiple Arrests

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One man was killed Saturday during protests in Louisville, Kentucky, after an individual involved in the protests opened fire before being wounded by other armed protesters and later arrested by police.

“The man had been participating in the protests since they began and had been arrested a couple of times over the past several weeks. He had been repeatedly asked by other members in the park to leave due to his disruptive behavior,” Louisville Assistant Chief of Police Robert Schroeder said of suspect Steve Lopez, according to Fox News.

“In addition to this man, multiple other people in the park were armed at the time of the incident, and our homicide investigators are still working to identify all of the parties who may have fired during the incident,” he said.

The Louisville Courier Journal reported that a speaker at the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression news conference Sunday said Lopez “had been involved in multiple disturbances at the camp and had to be escorted away from Jefferson Square Park before the shooting.”

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had claimed on Saturday that what he termed “armed patriot groups” were coming to attack the encampment. Prior to the announcement that the shooting was done by a protester, rumors swirled that blamed outsiders for the shooting.

Officials identified the victim of the Jefferson Square Park shooting as Tyler Charles Gerth, 27, of Louisville.

Protesters said Lopez had an altercation with another person at the park, but it wasn’t Gerth, according to the Courier Journal.

Lopez was charged with murder and first-degree wanton endangerment, according to The New York Times.

He was wounded in the leg when bystanders returned fire, according to The Washington Post. Lopez made his way to the nearby Hall of Justice, where he was found. He is currently in a hospital.

No other people were wounded.

Cellphone videos and surveillance video recorded the scene.

WARNING: The following videos contain graphic violence.

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“All I could hear was: bang, bang. I thought they were fireworks,”  Jasmine Harris, 27, said, according to The Washington Post.

The Courier Journal reported that Lopez had been arrested during a protest June 17 and charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct, harassment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In the aftermath of the shooting Saturday, Louisville officials dismantled a tent city that had been the center of protests of the death of Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police after her boyfriend opened fire on them.

Louisville Chief of Public Services Amy Hess said the shooting meant the encampment had to end.

“It’s a safety issue at this point. Over the past several nights we’ve seen increasingly dangerous behavior. We’ve seen several fistfights. We’ve also seen an increasing number of weapons that gave us concern, but all that led up to last night’s activity and last night’s shooting,” Hess said.

“But yet, we wanted to balance the First Amendment exercise of free speech, the need to come together, while at the same time understanding that ordinances were in place for a reason, and it was particularly to help protect public safety,” Hess said.

On Sunday, Shameka Parrish-Wright of the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression took a truculent tone over the dismantling of the protest site.

“I think it is very disrespectful,” she said.”I think that LMPD has been in contact with us, sending people through the park all the time we’ve been there, but they could not communicate effectively enough so that we could make sure people’s belongings got to them. When people tried to get their belongings last night they told them that it was a part of a murder investigation and that they couldn’t get those things.”

“The community that was built there is not ending because they decided to throw us out,” Parrish-Wright said. “We will be back. We’re going to come back stronger, and we’re not going to give up.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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